Generational preferences add yet another layer of complexity. For adults under age 40, newspapers do not hold nearly the same appeal. Consider this stark difference: among all adults, newspapers are the clear top source for seven local topics (and tied with the internet as the top source for four other topics). Yet, among adults under 40 newspapers are the clear top choice for one topic, taxes, are tied with TV news for another topic, crime, and tie with the internet for four other topic areas. (The specifics of these differences are spelled out in Part 5 of this report.)
For all ages, the strength of newspapers comes from aggregating an audience by offering a wide range of information, even if each subject or story has limited audience. That model may be vital from a civic standpoint, but it is traditionally expensive and it is not clear what the incentive is to replicate it if newspapers were to disappear.